Clayton, New York - Man indicted for making false statements, possession and use of an altered Merchant Marine License, fraud in connection with identification documents, and aggravated Identity theft.
Richard S. Hartunian, United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York, announced today that Mark Anselm, 37, of Clayton, N.Y., was indicted by a federal grand jury on twelve counts for making false statements to Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security officials (counts 1-3), possession and use of an altered Merchant Marine License (counts 4-7), fraud in connection with identification documents (count 8), and aggravated Identity theft (counts 9-12), in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1001, 2197, 1028(a)(6) and 1028A. If convicted, Anselm faces a maximum possible penalty of fifty-three years in prison and a three million dollar fine.
Anselm is charged with having held himself out to federal officials, to various marina owners, and to other potential employers as a licensed commercial ship pilot when in fact he possesses no such license. He is charged with having repeatedly presented a falsified merchant marine license that Anselm altered to substitute his name. On June 19, 2012 Anselm piloted a commercial tug boat on Lake Ontario which he grounded. A follow-up investigation revealed numerous instances of Anselm holding himself out as a licensed commercial merchant marine captain.
An Indictment is a mere allegation of wrongdoing. All individuals are presumed innocent until and unless convicted beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security. Prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Craig A. Benedict. Mr. Benedict may be contacted for questions regarding this case at 315-448-0726.